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Young's 3-pointer lifts 76ers to 95-92 win over Bobcats

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA - Presented with the opportunity to give the Philadelphia 76ers a rare victory Wednesday night, Thaddeus Young didn't flinch.

The veteran forward hit a 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds left, as the Sixers beat the Charlotte Bobcats 95-92 to snap a four-game losing streak.

Guard/forward Evan Turner had 23 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the 76ers (13-25), who won despite committing 24 turnovers. Guard Michael Carter-Williams added 20 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Center Spencer Hawes had 17 points, 14 boards and seven assists.

Guard Kemba Walker had 26 points and center Al Jefferson added 24 for Charlotte (16-24), which lost for the fourth time in five games.

After Charlotte forged a 92-92 tie on a jumper by Walker with 15.4 seconds left, Young took a pass from Carter-Williams and nailed his 3-pointer from the left wing to put the Sixers on top. Walker then missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

The decisive sequence was a pick-and-pop, on which Young set a screen for Carter-Williams, then drifted to the arc. Two defenders - Walker and Josh McRoberts - chased Carter-Williams, leaving Young with a shot he described as "the most perfect look you can ever get."

"I don't know what they were thinking," he said, "but they both ran to Mike. I was kind of like wide open. I was just like, ‘OK, I'm making this shot.'"

It was the only 3-pointer Young made in the game in three attempts. Overall, he shot 4-for-11 and scored 11 points.

Coach Brett Brown said his players responded to the last-second situation just as he might have hoped.

"You put them in that environment and you encourage them to be proactive and stay in attack mode, confident mode," he said. "And they did that."

Charlotte fell to 3-6 in games decided by three points or fewer.

"We had to make one play," coach Steve Clifford said. "The game's on the line. ... We did a poor job with the two guys involved in it, the way they defended. Guy got an open shot, and he knocked it in. We've had chances four or five times this year, where we were one play away defensively. You've got to make a play, you've got to tighten the defense and we weren't able to do it."

The Bobcats led 80-75 early in the fourth quarter, but Turner had nine points in a 14-7 flurry, giving the Sixers an 89-87 lead. Jefferson's basket with 2:17 left tied it, but Turner scored again with 2:04 to play.

Backup guard Ramon Sessions made a free throw for Charlotte, and Carter-Williams did likewise for the Sixers, leaving Philadelphia with a 92-90 lead with 1:08 remaining.

Jefferson scored 10 early points, and Charlotte took advantage of some loose play by Philadelphia to move to a 24-18 lead late in the first quarter. But the Sixers, who had 14 first-half turnovers, outscored the Bobcats 29-12 over a 10-minute stretch in the second period to transform a 30-24 deficit into a 53-42 lead.

Turner, scoreless over the game's first 16 minutes, had six points in that stretch, as did Hawes and Carter-Williams.

Reserve guard Tony Wroten added five, three coming when he threw down a thunderous slam and made a free throw after a foul by forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Philadelphia held a 53-45 lead at halftime, at which point Hawes had 12 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Carter-Williams also had 12 points before the break.

Jefferson paced Charlotte with 14, while Walker had 13.

The Sixers remained in front throughout the third quarter, but turnovers continued to plague them. They had seven more in the period. Three came in the final 1:30, allowing Charlotte to notch the period's last five points and cut the deficit to 72-68.

The Bobcats then notched 12 of the fourth quarter's first 15 points to go ahead 80-75. Sessions had six of those, including a floater in the lane that gave them their first lead since the second quarter, at 76-75.

NOTES: Before the game, Sixers coach Brett Brown disputed an ESPN.com report that said rookie C Nerlens Noel, out all season with a torn ACL in his left knee, could return shortly after next month's All-Star break. "He's progressing well," Brown said, "but there really is not a definitive timeline." Noel, the No. 6 pick in last June's draft, suffered the injury last February, during his lone season at Kentucky. Dr. James Andrews examined Noel in Florida last week and told ESPN.com he was "doing excellent" and had been cleared for basketball-related activities. But Brown said he will not play until he "ticks all the appropriate health boxes." ... Sixers general manager Sam Hinkie put out a statement regarding Noel, saying "some of the restrictions on Nerlens have been lifted and he is now able to participate in limited on-court work. ... Sixers C-F Lavoy Allen missed his third straight game with a calf injury. ... Charlotte G-F Michael Kidd-Gilchrist made his second straight start after missing six weeks with a broken left hand, but managed a single point in his hometown, while playing nearly 17 minutes. ... Philadelphia C-F Dewayne Dedmon made his Sixers debut after signing a 10-day contract Tuesday. While he went scoreless, he collected seven rebounds and two blocked shots in 14 minutes of action.
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